Escobar takes Balmoral prize at second attempt

O’Meara enhances fine record in valuable handicap

  • Saturday 19 October
  • News
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Escobar finished with a flourish to go one better than last year and claim top honours in the Balmoral Handicap on Qipco Champions Day at Ascot.

Beaten three-quarters of a length 12 months ago, David O’Meara’s 16-1 chance raced towards the rear of the 20-strong field for much of the straight-mile contest, but moved sweetly through runners once given his head by a confident Adam Kirby.

Kirby began to get to work once switching his mount wide to get a clear run inside the final furlong – and Escobar quickly found top gear to scythe down the leaders and win going away.

The Frankie Dettori-ridden 3-1 favourite Lord North had to make do with the runner-up spot, ahead of Mitchum Swagger and Glen Shiel in third and fourth respectively.

O’Meara was landing the valuable prize for the second time in three years, having struck gold with subsequent Group One winner Lord Glitters in 2017.

The North Yorkshire-based trainer said: “When things drop right he can certainly be better than a handicapper, but they don’t always. He’s been given a great ride today.

“From his draw (21) we thought we’d come out and take back and go behind them all and ride for a bit of a luck. As it was Adam went out a little across, but he was still on that side.

“I didn’t think he’d go on the ground and I thought the draw was against us, so it’s a lovely surprise.”

Escobar takes Balmoral prize at second attempt
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